Giardia Lamblia - Symptoms

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Was diarrhea your main symptom with giardiasis? What other symptoms were associated with your infection?

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What signs and symptoms does giardiasis cause?

The most common manifestations of giardiasis are diarrhea and abdominal pain, particularly cramping; however, diarrhea is not invariable and occurs in 60% to 90% of patients. Other common manifestations include bloating, nausea with or without vomiting,malaise, and fatigue. Fever is unusual. The severity of the symptoms may vary greatly from mild or no symptoms to severe symptoms. Stools may be foul smelling when the Giardia interferes with the absorption of fat from the intestine (malabsorption). The illness or the malabsorption may cause loss of weight.

Symptoms and signs of giardiasis do not begin for at least seven days following infection, but can occur as long as three or more weeks later. In most patients the illness is self-limiting and lasts 2-4 weeks. In many patients who are not treated, however, infection can last for several months to years with continuing symptoms. Children with chronic infection may fail to thrive. Some patients recover from their giardiasis, with or without treatment, but symptoms continue, perhaps because of a condition referred to as postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome. the cause of the continuing symptoms is not clear but may be due to bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Victoria, Australia, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 02

Never in my life have I had such severe and long lasting diarrhea. It started with extreme stomach cramps then woke me in the middle of the night and I had to rush to the toilet. I felt better after 3 days and then half way through the day it was back with a vengeance. I am now up to day 5 and waiting to see the doctor. I hope they have an answer for me and some treatment as this is getting ridiculous. My husband has had giardiasis before and it seems a lot like it but without the vomiting.

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Comment from: Barbs, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 08

I have recently returned from a 3-month trip to the Northern Territory and Outback Queensland. For half that time I have had giardiasis. I visited 3 doctors on my travels. Only one diagnosed giardiasis and gave me antibiotics and it cleared up but returned again. I have watery, greasy, vile-smelling diarrhea, terrible smelling gas, headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and just feel sick in general. I am not sleeping very well as the gas and foul smell keep waking me up. I'm into my third day of antibiotics not much has changed yet. And this is the second lot in 4 weeks. I am an active person and sick of being sick.

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